, , , ,

Recruitment 411: Twitter Hashtags – the Good, the Bad & the Useless

Anyone on Twitter knows the game: you update your status with no more than 140 characters, including spaces and hashtags. According to Twitter data, there are around 750 tweets posted every second – that’s almost 65 million tweets per day. Getting your tweet in front of the right audience can be a bit of a challenge. A challenge met by using effective hashtags.

Enter this guy: #

Previously stuck in a role as an obscure ‘pound’ or ‘number’ sign, this little-used piece of punctuation became an overnight sensation in the world of social media.

More than just a way to categorize your tweet, a good hashtag can be the difference between a message that reaches a mass audience and a tweet that disappears into the blogosphere in a split second.

Hashtags are simply terms with a # typed before a term in your tweet. In the online haystack that is Twitter, a hashtag can turn your tweet into an easily found needle.

If you include #government in your update, other users can type ‘#government’ in the search field and will see updates from every user who entered the #government hashtag in their tweet.

The trick is deciding which hashtags to include in your tweets; this takes a dash of strategy and a dollop of skill.

If you use an unpopular hashtag, you’ve wasted ten-or-so characters on a tag no one uses. Like you, we’ve seen all sorts of hashtags being used. We wanted to figure out which ones are the most effective and will help put our tweets in front of the people we want to reach.

So, if you’re wondering which hashtags related to government recruiting are the most effective, we can help. We searched Twitter for 26 tags and terms. Below is a list showing which hashtags are effective and which are a complete waste of space. We conducted this search at 1:15 on a Friday afternoon.

A search brings up the most recent 20 tweets. If those 20 tweets are recent – that tells us many people are actively using that hashtag. However, if a search resulted in 20 or fewer results over many days, this means the hashtag is not used as frequently and is probably not worth wasting any of your 140 characters.

Good hashtags – the most useful for use in government-recruiting tweets

#job: 20 tweets in 1 minute

#jobs: 20 tweets in 5 minutes

#careers: 20 tweets in 8 minutes

#hiring: 20 tweets in 8 minutes

#career: 20 tweets in 19 minutes

#government: 20 tweets in 24 minutes

#jobsearch: 20 tweets in 28 minutes

#employment: 20 tweets in 38 minutes

#recruiting: 20 tweets in 40 minutes

Bad hashtags – less popular terms

#federal: 20 tweets in 1 hours

#jobhunt: 20 tweets in 2 hours

#recruitment: 20 tweets in 2 hours

#hire: 20 tweets in 3 hours

#jobhunting: 20 tweets in 3 hours

#humanresources: 20 tweets in 4 hours

Useless hashtags – a waste of your 140 character limit

#careermanagement: 11 tweets in 3 hours

#resume: 20 tweets in 1 day

#resumewriting: 20 tweets in 1 day

#recruit: 20 tweets in 5 hours – most are not in English

#govjobs: 6 tweets in 2 days

#newhire: 4 tweets in 2 days

#careerdevelopment: 12 tweets in 4 days

#resumetips: 8 tweets in 4 days

#networking: 20 tweets in 7 days

#fedjobs: 0 tweets

#govgigs: 0 tweets

What hashtags do you think are particularly useful or wasteful?

Recruitment 411 is the official blog of the IRS Recruitment Office.

Leave a Comment


Leave a Reply

Allen Sheaprd


The job information is good. The people I follow and Hash tags I use have not contained those words.

I find the statistics interesting. I always look on the side of the screen for any new popular items.

Eric Erickson

Great information, Julie!

Anytime we are tweeting info about a job, I also use a hashtag that is specific for the state where the position is offered. Either a hashtag with the postal abbreviation like #MN or #GA – or for most states you can also use a jobs-hashtag for that state, like #MNjobs or #GAjobs

Jon Stabbe

Julie – This is great information! This puts great light on utlizing twitter in the most effective way. This is also very beneficial to new job seekers who are using twitter for the first time, which can be a bit overwelming! Thank you!

Lida Verner

Very good information. As someone who is looking for a job, it is nice to know which hashtags to follow. <g>

I have also been putting together a short tutorial on twitter and you have explained # very well.